The Europe 2020 strategy aims to lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion. However, this target does not directly acknowledge the gender dimension of poverty and looks unlikely to be met; 23.3 % of women and 21.6 % of men in the EU remain at risk of poverty or social exclusion. More recently, the European Pillar of Social Rights emphasised the right to decent levels of income for people both in and out of work and highlighted that women and men should have equal opportunities to acquire pension rights.

Since poverty and social exclusion risks are much higher in certain vulnerable groups or localities, it is crucial to support the broad poverty-related goals by targeted gender-sensitive measures. The recent efforts of the Commission to address the gender pension gap present a positive example in this context, but intersectional focus is much weaker in EU strategies and plans focusing on some other vulnerable groups.